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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How To Fail Your Driving Test

Happy St.Patrick's Day! It seems like every other day is some kind of holiday but maybe that's because I work in retail.

So, I mentioned that I failed my test again last week. I always knew that driving wasn't something that would come easy to me. When I was a teenager I preferred the idea of riding a motorbike to driving a car. It seemed like a smaller hunk of machinery to take control of and I assumed it would be easier. It is. Kind of. My only real experience of riding a bike was in Thailand and I didn't do it that often because it was scary. Riding the bike wasn't scary but negotiating the crazy Thai traffic (no rules at roundabouts!) was. A car is, however, much more practical for carrying passengers, although it doesn't stop them in Thailand from fitting a whole family and their dog on one bike.

My instructor said something to me the day before the test and, while I know she was only trying to help, it completely knocked my confidence (which wasn't really there to begin with) and it's been playing on my mind. Years ago, when I was a teenager, a girl told me that I should wear make up. That I would be pretty if I wore make up. I have experimented over the years but never felt entirely comfortable wearing it. Also, I'm lazy. Also, I don't care for 'dolling' myself up. Not so long ago a guy in the pub told me I'd be beautiful if I put on 12 lbs. At the time I wasn't particularly happy with being so underweight and I agreed with him but afterwards it made me wonder why people think it's ok to put conditions of worth on me. My driving instructor said to me the day before my test "Hannah, I want you to come out tomorrow looking like I have never seen you before. Put on your nicest clothes, wear make up and do your hair". I knew she meant well by it. I knew she was thinking that if I looked good, I'd feel good and my confidence would be better. I knew all this but it still had a detrimental effect.

The day of the test I walked out feeling like I had already failed. I looked no different than any other day despite trying to 'make something of myself'. I don't have any nice clothes. I wore a different coat. I faffed around with my hair but it just looked as limp and lank as always. I felt that I had made no effort but I had made all the effort I possibly could. I did not look good and I did not feel good. Like I say, I walked out of the house feeling like already I wasn't worthy enough.

It was after I failed that the words stung. I should have been true to myself and not let the instructor's suggestions put me off. I was already nervous enough without worrying about my goddamn hair. None of those things matter to me and I am sick of being judged on my appearance. But mostly, I'm annoyed that I let myself be affected by what she said and I, once again, let doubt take over. I can't put it all down to that one thing though.

On the plus side, it has given me food for thought with regards to my course. The relationship between the instructor and I had grown fractious because I knew what I needed to help me learn to drive and she refused to listen to my needs. It took me a while to learn to tell her what I needed but she was so set in her ways it didn't matter. While she may have got hundreds of others through their test she couldn't adapt her teaching style to fit with me. And I am not like hundreds of other people.


Rob Z Tobor said...

You be yourself Miss Hannah or you will not be happy. As for make up and wearing your best clothes for the driving test, surely that should not matter one bit. If it relied on that most men would fail, I think being relaxed is more important, cautious but confident and only run down the odd little old lady rather than crowds of them.

12 lbs from beautiful sounds pretty good to me particularly if you need to put them on rather than loss them which is generally harder. Think of it as you are only a few cakes away from being beautiful, most women would be very jealous. . .

hootchinhannah said...

Sound advice Mr Rob (especially the running down old ladies). If only people stopped equating beauty to the perfect weight. It affects anyone who isn't in the 'normal' bracket and that's pretty much most of us.

Leitrim Aunt said...

Hannah my instructor for my fifth test spent all his time working on my confidence. It worked

hootchinhannah said...

That's what I plan to tell my next instructor :)